So far the summer of 2019 has been one of the hotter ones in recent memory, it seems that each year we are faced with more extreme temperatures, but left with the same methods for keeping cool. As they say necessity is the mother of invention and Sony has taken this to heart with crowdfunding a portable wearable air conditioner. Yes, you heard that right, a portable AC unit to help keep you cool when you have to be outside in these heat waves of the summer.
The little gadget is named the Reon Pocket, and it is a portable Bluetooth device that is smaller than most cell phones. The way it works is by slipping it into a special shirt that is fitted with a pocket located at the base of your neck, from there you use a special app to control the temperature, hit a button, and you’re all set. The technology behind it uses thermoelectric cooling/heating where you pass an electrical current across a junction and heat is either absorbed or emitted. In their testing Sony found that the Reon Pocket can cool a user’s body temperature by 23 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot day, or raise their temperature by about 14 degrees Fahrenheit on a cold day. That makes for a pretty nifty gadget if you ask me.
The device will be supported by both Android and iOS and has a battery life of 24 hours and a charge time of 2 hours (however, Engaget reported that the 24 hour charge is for Bluetooth connectivity and the actual run time is about 2 hours). Right now the price ranges from about $117 to $175 depending on which model you choose. The only real kicker right now is that it is just available in Japan starting March 2020, but if it is a success I would be shocked if it doesn’t get a global launch eventually (at the time of writing this article it had already surpassed their funding objective with 20 days to go still, so there is clearly a desire for it).
Hopefully this gadget makes its way to the US because if it actually works the uses for it are endless. You could wear it under you suit or dress clothes at work to keep cool on those hot uncomfortable days, maybe you have a sporting event to attend out in the heat and want to stay cool, or maybe you’re just running errands but don’t want to be a sweaty mess. Even in cold weather to use as a warmer would be great, I’m sure everyone can come up with a long list of situations they would want to use it. For now we will have to wait and see, but this concept is an exciting one.